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Haiti violence: US military airlifts embassy personnel, EU temporarily closes its offices

Haiti entered a state of emergency last Sunday after fighting escalated while Prime Minister Ariel Henry was in Nairobi seeking a deal for the long-delayed UN-backed mission.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Washington Published on: March 11, 2024 19:04 IST
Haiti violence
Image Source : AP Haiti violence

Washington: Amid violence in Haiti, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Jamaica on Monday to attend a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting on Haiti violence where a collapse in security and a humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean nation has unfolded, the State Department said. Blinken will discuss a proposal developed by CARICOM and Haitian officials to expedite a political transition in Haiti through the creation of a broad-based, independent presidential college as well as the deployment of a multinational security mission to restore order.

His visit came a day after the US military said it carried out an operation in Haiti to airlift non-essential embassy personnel from the country and added US forces to bolster embassy security, as the Caribbean nation reels under a state of emergency. The operation was the latest sign of Haiti's troubles as gang violence threatens to bring down the government and has led thousands to flee their homes.

"This airlift of personnel into and out of the embassy is consistent with our standard practice for embassy security augmentation worldwide, and no Haitians were on board the military aircraft," the US military's Southern Command said in a statement.

EU temporarily closes its offices in Haiti

The European Union's delegation in Haiti has temporarily closed its offices and reduced its presence in the country to the minimum, according to a post on social media X, citing security concerns.

Haiti entered a state of emergency last Sunday after fighting escalated while Prime Minister Ariel Henry was in Nairobi seeking a deal for the long-delayed UN-backed mission. Kenya announced last year it would lead the force but months of domestic legal wrangling have effectively placed the mission on hold.

On Saturday, the US State Department said Blinken had spoken with Kenyan President William Ruto about the Haiti crisis and the two men underscored their commitment to a multinational security mission to restore order. In the Southern Command's statement, it said Washington remained committed to those goals.

"Our embassy remains focused on advancing US government efforts to support the Haitian people, including mobilizing support for the Haitian National Police, expediting the deployment of the United Nations-authorized Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission and accelerating a peaceful transition of power via free and fair elections," it said. Jamaica will host leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on March 11 to discuss ways to support Haiti and promote political dialogue.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Haiti violence: Over 4,000 prisoners flee after armed gangs storm main prison, govt invokes emergency I VIDEO

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